Clear Voice™ – and more thorough thoughts

crystal clear Shortly after my last blog post I adjusted the Clear Voice™  from a medium setting, to low, following the first two weeks of trying it in the medium setting. I absolutely found the medium setting useful in noisy environments, but could not use it while in a non-polluted environment. It simply takes away too much information from the speech that I need. My speech-perception while using Clear Voice™ in normal home-environment is significantly reduced.

So was the low setting any improvement? Well, both yes and no. It didn’t take out as much in the speech in normal listening environment, but also didn’t take out as much noise in noisy environments.

I will take it back to medium setting, and use it manually when I have a direct and pressing need for it.

So, Clear Voice™ simultaneously with my ability to speech read absolutely works for me in noise. I will use it for that, but not all the time.

I got a question from a reader who has an infant, about whether children should be fitted with Clear Voice or not.

Please note: My opinions are never absolute truths, please do not let my opinions be the only source for any decisions made regarding this or any other issues I might comment on.

brain_plasticity I think that the brain learns to deal with noise in it’s own way. So infants or individuals who has never used hearing aids, might be better off not using Clear Voice in the long run. It will, of course, also depend on the future development of Clear Voice, but as it is today, this is where I stand. If you, the reader of this, feel like it’s beneficial for you, then I’m very happy for you, use it all you like. But for me it has limited usefulness. It will help me in extreme sound-situations, and it will help me combat fatigue (saving me from the most exhausting environments). But I will only use it occasionally, because I want to allow the plasticity of my brain to deal with “useless” sounds. I believe it will do a better job in the long run, than the Clear Voice has potential to do…

There are other settings and parameters in the Harmony software that can deal with issues of noise and speech comprehension. I will deal with some of those parameters in a later post (work in progress).

This especially applies when I become a bilateral implantee sometime this year… I have a theory things will be a little different when it comes to dealing with the world of sounds and speech in noise when I become bilateral…

More thorough thoughts, an attempt to clear things up

clear-mind I have a few challenges while writing these blog-posts that delves into the technical aspects of the Advanced Bionics cochlear implants. The biggest challenge is represented by my lack of both neurological and technical insight and understanding. I had  mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology in Upper/senior secondary school, and believe I understand the basic principles.
As someone wise & famous (Socrates/Platon?) once said: “The more you learn, the better you understand just how little you know…”

Then comes the fact that I’m a person who likes to think in the big picture perspective, but to do that well, one needs knowledge on many things specific, too. My ambition with this blog is to be useful to as many as possible, to provide useful information that I didn’t find myself when I started the process of researching and understanding the subject of cochlear implants.

Subsequently I find the subject I write about, becoming more and more complex as I learn more about it. As an online friend of mine said; “After reading the CI MAPing book and after working with a few folks on their MAPs, I realized that setting a MAP has an element of magic & luck to it.  It’s not black & white.”
This is also my own experience. The whole “learning to hear again” – process is exactly that; a personal process. It’s not an exact experience that can be “applied” to someone else. Because everybody has different kinds of hearing histories, everybody will also have their unique process of adjusting to the CI. Yes, we can learn from each others’ experiences, but when it comes to doing the actual adjustment, it basically comes down to this:

1. Your ability to understand your needs (sound wise), and then to express your experiences and needs,
2. Your audio physicist (person who makes adjustments to the CI parameters) ability to understand and translate your expressions and thoughts into suggestions and actual changes in the software parameters.

I do get feedback that people find my posts useful, so I will continue with what I do. I wish people had more critical questions, that is very much welcome in my blog! I often feel my thoughts on these subjects (CI) are “halfway”, unfinished, lacking etc. It is in contact with other peoples minds I find new and supplementing thoughts and I feel I move forward in this “Project: Knowledge and understanding about all things CI”

Posted in deaf. 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Clear Voice™ – and more thorough thoughts”

  1. Funnyoldlife Says:

    Hi Ulf

    It’s a coincidence that you write about this subject now. I have just today switched from my normal program of 60 IDR with ClearVoice to 70 IDR without ClearVoice. I feel my speech comprehension is improving too slowly (3 months since switch-on) and I think not having ClearVoice on all the time might help progress along a bit quicker – as you say, to let my brain’s plasticity do it’s work.

    I have just discovered I have to wait until March 2011 for my next mapping – 9 months! I don’t think such a long wait will help progress. Getting the most out of a cochlear implant seems a bit hit and miss to me.

    • Ulf Says:

      Dear you

      I understand your frustration, I’m there too. But fixing your mapping often is good in the beginning, like preparing all the details for the actual jump into the world. Then comes the next phase, which consists of TIME and training. Both passive and active. Just keep the sound on as much as possible, then the brain will learn.

      Yes, I know, this TIME part is really hard… Just make the most of it, and make it your no. 1 priority to LIVE your LIFE again 🙂
      (the plasticity thing happens anyway!)

      I’m at 70 IDR without ClearVoice most of the time now, I think. Will write more about the IDR-aspect; as I said, “work in progress” 🙂

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